Interview with Richard Valeriani
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

THE ORIGINAL QUESTION WAS… UM… WHAT WAS MY ORIGINAL QUESTION?_ OK, YOU WERE, I WANT YOU TO PICK UP FROM THAT MARTIN LUTHER KING STORY…

Richard Valeriani:

I remember being always afraid in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the hostility there was almost palpable, you could almost feel it in the air. We used to go to Meridian for relief, that was not a, really the kind of place to look for relief. But I remember watching Martin Luther King and a couple of northern black labor leaders go up and confront the local townspeople, local officials and being terribly afraid myself just watching them, wondering how they could not have been terrified, and I once asked Martin Luther King how he wasn't so afraid, and he said well once you realize what's the worst that can happen to you then you get past the threshold of fear. I never got across that threshold because I was always concerned about my personal safety in those circumstances, worrying that if they turned on the demonstrators, they would turn on me, us, as well.